As the first day of winter began in the Earth’s Northern Hemisphere, low temperatures and high winds whipped across the Santa Clarita Valley Thursday.
In addition to being a chilly day in the SCV, Thursday also marked the shortest day and longest night of the calendar year.
“The Winter Solstice officially occurs at 8:28 a.m. PST this morning,” the National Weather Service (NWS) wrote on Twitter. “The winter solstice is an astronomical phenomenon marking the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year In the Northern Hemisphere.”
Forecasts for the area expected highs to be in the upper- to mid-50s with lows in the mid-30s Thursday, as winds were reported between 20 to 25 miles per hour (mph) with gusts up to 40 mph.
The cold and windy weather is expected to continue throughout the week and into the weekend, as temperatures reach highs in the low-60s and lows in the low-30s Friday and highs around 70 and lows in the mid-30s Saturday.
Winds are expected to continue into the weekend as well with gusts up to 25 mph forecasted for Friday and gusts up to 20 mph forecasted for Saturday.
These cold and dry Santa Ana winds and low relative humidities also prompted the NWS to extend a Red Flag Warning for the area into Friday morning.
“Humidities are expected to drop into the teens and locally single digits this afternoon and again on Friday,” the NWS said. “Overnight recoveries will only be 20-35 percent for many areas.”
With these strong winds, drivers are encouraged to exercise caution when moving through high-wind areas, especially while towing trailers or driving high-profile vehicles.
Residents are also encouraged to exercise caution when using potential fire ignition sources, like kettles, catalytic converters, firewood and propane gas, among others.
“If fire ignition occurs, conditions are favorable for extreme fire behavior which would threaten life and property. Use extreme caution with potential fire ignition sources,” the NWS said.
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_